Real Madrid Vs. Atlético Madrid, Liga 2013-2014 Match Recap: Atleti Wins Sloppy Derby

David Ramos

Real Madrid were never able of creating real danger to Simeone's team. Los blancos are five points behind Barcelona and Atlético already.

Ancelotti decided to start with Modric on the bench, giving the Khedira-Illarramendi midfield another chance. Bale also started on the bench after his small thigh injury, so Ángel Di María was given the opportunity to be the starter once again. The rest of the lineup was expected, with Arbeloa playing as Real's right back and Coentrao filling in for Marcelo.

Real Madrid started the game with intensity with some good defensive efforts by the midfielders. Isco even had a chance to shoot the ball, but Atlético's defense deflected it. Atlético Madrid pressed really high and Diego López was forced to go aerial and pass it to Cristiano Ronaldo instead of starting the play with Illarramendi. Those difficulties became obvious as soon as Di María turned the ball over in a very dangerous position. Diego Costa scored passed Diego López with ease and Atlético had their first goal in the 10th minute.

The crowd started to show their discomfort with the team's play in the 15th minute after some bad turnovers in the midfield and Atlético Madrid's ability to enjoy counterattacks. It would be better to support and encourage the team, but that's just how Bernabéu's crowd works.

The team had its first chance after a good header by Karim Benzema. Courtois saved it and Isco tried to reach the ball, but it was sent to corner-kick instead. The French striker had yet another good chance after a good cross by Di María in the 26th minute, but he couldn't aim properly.

Then Atlético Madrid enjoyed two good chances off set pieces, especially one header by Tiago that went over Diego's post. Ángel Di María then started to make some bad decisions with the ball. He tried to rush the plays too much, so his team never had big chances for a moment. Isco's presence was never felt, so Real Madrid lacked the composure and patience to keep the ball and force Atlético Madrid to play defensively.

Mateu Lahoz then started to be Mateu Lahoz. He has a different rulebook. Lahoz usually calls fouls that aren't so and he lets the play go on after a bad tackle. Liga BBVA: Where Mateu Lahoz happens.

The first half ended with Atlético Madrid having the best chances. Diego López saved Atleti's second goal off a corner-kick, and Real Madrid never had the opportunity to control the game. Only Cristiano Ronaldo sent the ball over the top of Courtois' goal in the 44th minute. The rest was really poor.

The second half started with Bale and Modric joining the game and replacing Illarramendi and Di María.

Unfortunately for them and their teammates, Atlético Madrid kept the control of the game, even though los blancos had most of the possession. Simeone's team wasted a lot of time and Mateu Lahoz allowed that while Filipe Luis and Diego Costa were diving all over the place.

Diego Costa missed Atleti's greatest chance of setting a two-goal lead on the scoreboard after a yet another brilliant save by López. Then Bale had a shot on target that was saved by Thibaut Courtois. That was Real Madrid's only shot for 65 minutes besides Benzema's header in the first half. Minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo had a really difficult shot saved by Courtois as well.

Morata joined the game, replacing Isco, who had his first mediocre game as a Real Madrid player. The crowd still didn't like that change and started to whistle Carlo Ancelotti as soon as the speaker announced the substitution.

Ancelotti's team relied too much on Sami Khedira. The German player is not a creative midfielder but he was forced to play as one for most of the match. Ancelotti probably should had to take him out instead of Illarramendi considering that his team was already trailing. As Bob Dylan sang in "Like a Rolling Stone", "When you got nothing you got nothing to lose".

Diego López kept saving Real Madrid from conceding more goals, so it was Simeone's dreamt match. It looked as if his team never struggled. They were the best team, simply put.

Real Madrid still had some good chances, especially one off an acrobatic volley by Álvaro Morata that was saved by Courtois -again-.

Simeone made all his three changes in a couple of minutes and cooled down Real Madrid's tries of scoring the equalizer. Simeone is a great coach that deserves a lot of credit for what he has done with this club.

Modric and Morata gave the fans some hope with their late efforts, but Ancelotti's team never had a real chance of beating Courtois. Their chances were too predictable and far from accurate.

This was a really frustrating derby for Real Madrid as it showed the team's lack of cohesion. Ancelotti's team is 5 points behind Atlético and Barcelona already.

Copenhaguen ahead.

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